[Coral-List] political arguments on coral-list
Tim Brown - NOAA Affiliate
tim.brown at noaa.gov
Thu May 22 17:19:32 EDT 2014
> When Gene started working in Florida, coral cover was about 45%. It is
> now less than 4%.
> It is obvious that "management" is failing. Instead of railing against
> Gene, you might give some thought as to the points he makes. Citing the
> complexity of the system is management-speak for, "we have no idea what
> we are doing."
I was curious about this coral cover statistic you listed,
The past 45% reduction to current 4%; what time frame and geographic area
of the state/Caribbean does this cover? ...thanks :)
Can I please bring up Acropora prolifera?
The concept of this hybrid in the Caribbean fascinates me
How far back has this coral been recorded....scientifically or otherwise?
I remember seeing snippets of discussion on this hybrid on Coral List
previously but not as much as I'd like.
>From the two species of Acropora (from my understanding the Caribbean's
fastest growing Scleratinians that reproduce largely by asexual
fragmentation) -the appearance of a hardy hybrid seems like a ray of hope
in gloomy days of environmental change and rapid coastal development.
Might this be evolution occurring before our very eyes? I've never seen
A.prolifera in the ocean but I was stoked to see A.cervicornis growing in
the shallows off north Broward in 2007.
Didn't the biogeography of coral atolls inspire Darwin to theorize island
subsidence and fuel his postulation of evolution? Earth is a dynamic place
we live. The mechanisms of evolution seem suited to organisms that live in
a changing environment....the organism/environment adaptive interaction
seems pretty powerful, even with the human factor thrown in. Reef building
organisms have developed evolutionary complexity through through global
change since the appearance of stromatolites....is A.prolifera a small step
in this direction?
I'm sorry to throw this scientific postulation into a political/idealogical
argument.....let me get on point and add that an obvious "management"
failing seems like a basic human failing to me- it seems like a failure
of the human species that we cannot integrate within our biosphere as
biological organisms....I'd like to think of it as each and every one of
our own personal faults as members of a society- that our technology
allows us to seemingly bypass the ecological limitations that nature places
on other Earthly organisms.
As we talk about the "complexity of the system" and how "we have no idea
what we are doing" -agreed- I don't think we have any idea what we are
doing as a species within this complex global system...Humans do what we do
simply because we can- this is what makes us human. Just my
So how about those coral hybrids?!?! theres gotta be plenty of
un/documented Acropora hybrids in the coral triangle where habitat and
species diversity is greater than the Caribbean.
On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 4:48 AM, Michael Risk <riskmj at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
> > Billy:
> > When Gene started working in Florida, coral cover was about 45%. It is
> > now less than 4%.
> > It is obvious that "management" is failing. Instead of railing against
> > Gene, you might give some thought as to the points he makes. Citing the
> > complexity of the system is management-speak for, "we have no idea what
> > we are doing."
> > Mike
> On May 20, 2014, at 7:03 PM, Billy Causey - NOAA Federal <
> billy.causey at noaa.gov> wrote:
> > Gene,
> > Please don 't pretend you know what Sanctuary management is about.
> > You are way off the mark and have no idea of the complexity in
> > managing 2900 sq nautical miles (9800 sq k) of some of the nation 's
> > most significant and heavily- used marine resources with about 28
> > different jurisdictions.
> > The solutions and answers are no where close to as simple as you imply.
> > When is sailing off into the sunset on your agenda?
> > Billy
> > Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
> > Southeast Regional Director
> > NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
> > 33 East Quay Road
> > Key West, Florida 33040
> > Phone:
> > 305 809 4670 office
> > 305 395 0150 mobile
> > 305 293 5011 fax
> > Email:
> > billy.causey at noaa.gov
> >> On May 20, 2014, at 6:02 PM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> >> Thank you Chris and Daphne. Yes it is a contact sport but one we have
> >> all created. I well remember when the coral-list began. It was for
> >> scientists trading technical information...then it began to change and
> >> it started to bother some that so much space was used advertising reef
> >> management jobs and the like. When climate and acidification became an
> >> issue things became even more political and complicated. I might mention
> >> here that global warming came after the 1970s when Steve Schneider was
> >> predicting we were headed into another ice age. The problem I constantly
> >> worry about is that NOAA, which claims to be a
> >> technical/science-oriented agency, sponsors the coral-list. At the same
> >> time the Coral reef Sanctuaries are part of NOAA and they are mainly
> >> about management/enforcement. Both are under the dept. of Commerce so
> >> that adds another level of restraints and unintended consequences. What
> >> if science uncovers a problem, for example that aerial spraying of
> >> mosquito pesticides is harming the reef, would that activity is made
> >> illegal? Not likely because it would drastically affect the
> >> Economy/Commerce of the Florida Keys. Another example would be
> >> sunscreen, which some published research suggest causes coral bleaching.
> >> (The stuff is banned in Mexican coral reef parks) If NOAA/dept. of
> >> Commerce banned sunscreen in the Keys might they be accused of promoting
> >> more skin cancers? The tourism/economy would certainly be affected. We
> >> can't have that. There are many such examples because the economy of the
> >> keys is greatly dependent on natural resources such as the
> >> fishing/lobster industry. Again the same political problem! The
> >> Sanctuary controls those activities by enforcing rules set up by another
> >> NOAA agency, National Marine Fisheries. And right next door is
> >> Everglades National Park, which is the dept. of Interior with a very
> >> different philosophy. Mosquito spraying is not allowed on their property
> >> and they have their own fishery rules/regulations and enforcement
> >> officers. And lets not forget Fish and Wildlife Service, yet another
> >> part of the dept. of Interior. And of course there are the State Parks
> >> such as Pennekamp. See what a convoluted political situation we have! We
> >> just do it to ourselves. Does anyone really expect all these diverse
> >> parts of government to operate seamlessly especially at their
> >> headquarters back in Washington DC where each is constantly trying to
> >> increase its funding and influence? It's clear we can't take politics
> >> out of coral reef science and research. A friend of mine used to say the
> >> definition of mixed emotions is when your mother in law drives your new
> >> Cadillac over a cliff. We certainly seem to have created a lot of mixed
> >> emotions to deal with. Gene
> >> --
> >> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> >> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> >> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> >> University of South Florida
> >> College of Marine Science Room 221A
> >> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> >> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> >> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> >> Tel 727 553-1158
> >> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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> Michael Risk
> riskmj at mcmaster.ca
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